Monday, August 24, 2015

sympathy for the devil

"My older brother is in charge of finding lower income housing in London for people that need it and my sister is involved in supporting farmers' rights in Latin-America. My younger brother is the political editor of The Guardian. He is very successful, very brilliant… And my two brothers and my sister… I think…they are very amused by what I do… they... they...  They're amused."
The above and the few minutes before and after remind you that everyone around her fears her except those that matter. Even her daughter laughs at her. The interview is shot at the breakfast room table; as Wintour is leaving it cuts to a shot of dog looking down at her from the top of the stairs. The newly introduced mood music continues in the next scene. At the office an assistant is talking about a facialist about to open a new boutique in London. Wintour's expression is dead. The scenes are cut to cut her for slumming.

I watched the documentary for this scene. It goes to the question of why a Brit or an American could never write The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and why Alexander McQueen was a costume designer not a couturier. To be in fashion and to take it seriously you have to begin by not taking anything seriously, then you can choose to take the frivolous seriously and even be a genius.

I went to a funeral for a minor, female, gay icon. The two people who spoke who brought tears to everyone's eyes were the among the most willfully shallow people in the room, but each in simple precise language described small moments on a beach or in a park with their late friend that could stand for anyone's perfect moments of happiness.

It's interesting the number of people in the fashion industry who say that fashion isn't art. Some fashion photographers say the same thing about their work. What would they say? "We're just pretending!" "We're just pretentious!"  Fashion photography is less pretentious than war photography. Fashion is art, but so is gardening. It's deeply problematic, but so is ballet. Ballet has maintained a level of seriousness because for all the glamour there's no money in it.

Grace Coddington
Anna saw the celebrity thing coming, way before everybody else jumped on that bandwagon, and whilst I hated it I'm afraid I have to admit she was right. You can't stay behind. You  know, you have to go charging ahead, and she did and the magazine is very successful because of it. And... whilst I wouldn't really care if I never saw another celebrity, obviously if a magazine doesn't sell I don't have a job so it would be silly... You've got to have something to put your work in otherwise it's not valid.
Coddington is from the other side of the UK class system, a convent girl from Wales, rising up into sophistication rather than down. She makes the most of it.

It's too bad Wiseman didn't make the film. It would've been much better.

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